NEWS & UPDATED BLOGS
NEW: Thousands of fans unite to show support for The Mai-Kai during closing
More than 10,000 have signed a petition and thousands are flooding social media as the historic restaurant plans events, take-home cocktails while potential partners/owners are sought.
>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY
UPDATED: Support Tiki bars now by visiting their online stores
Get updates on closings and openings, plus the latest on mugs and merchandise, plus more resources.
>>> FIND OUT HOW TO HELP NOW
UPDATED: The Tiki Times: Exclusive 2021 events guide
Check the calendar for the latest upcoming live and virtual events, now updated through the end of the year.
>>> Ongoing and special online events
>>> Live and tentatively scheduled events for 2021
Mai-Kai cocktail review: The Black Magic emerges from the darkness as a true classic
Inspired by one of The Mai-Kai's Gallons To Go, we've mixed up a new version of this classic Tiki cocktail.
>>> See the full story
>>> Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Black Magic, version 3.0
NEW: The Atomic Grog on Spike's Breezeway Cocktail Hour
>>> The Black Magic goes viral on social media
Year in the rearview: The Top 9 Tiki stories of 2020
Not all the news was negative in a year many would rather forget.
>>> See The Atomic Grog’s picks for the news highlights of 2020
Bonus cocktail recipe: The Urban Archaeologist
The Year in Tiki 2020: Recap the top virtual and in-person events
Take a look back at the top happenings, featuring artwork and links plus photos and video. SEE THE FULL LIST
Photos: Remembering Dawn Wells at The Hukilau
Lucky villagers cherished the memorable chance to meet the actress at the Tiki weekender in June 2015.
>>> Photos of Dawn Wells at The Hukilau
The Mai-Kai celebrates 64th anniversary under the moon as challenges loom
Check out all the details on The Mai-Kai's sold-out 64th anniversary party on Dec. 28. FULL STORY
Photos: The Mai-Kai's Polynesian Islander Revue
News: Extent of flooding damage, closing detailed
Previous coverge: Fundraisers, online sales aid The Mai-Kai
Rum Spotlight: Ed Hamilton brings new West Indies blend to Florida
Importer Ed Hamilton has announced the arrival of a new blend bottled for the Florida Rum Society.
>>> GET THE FULL REPORT
>>> 15 things you need to know about Ed Hamilton and Hamilton Rum
>>> Recipe: Hamilton Navy Grog, as served at The Mai-Kai
The Mai-Kai celebrates Hulaween 2020 with drive-in movie party after closing for renovations
The historic Polynesian restaurant transported revelers to a socially-distanced celebration like no other, including an appearance by Appleton Rum's Joy Spence. FULL EVENT RECAP
News: Latest on the temporary closing
Photos: Hulaweeen Drive-In Movie scene, costumes
Tribute recipe: Blood Island Green Potion #2
Daiquiris of Hope: Keeping the spirit of our favorite bars and bartenders alive
A salute to our favorite industry professionals in their time of need.
Daiquiri of Hope #2: Beachbum’s Special Daiquiri (Dedicated to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry)
Daiquiri of Hope #1: Martiki's Merchant Daiquiri (Dedicated to Martin Cate)
Contributed: The Underground Cardamom Daiquiri (Dedicated to Tiki Underground)
RECENT COCKTAIL REVIEWS & RECIPES
Even landlubbers can appreciate a strong ration of Yeoman's Grog
We've updated our Mai-Kai cocktail review to include more rich history of the ancestor cocktail, the Navy Grog, as well as a new contenporary recipe. See the full story
>>> Navy Grog from Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29
Mai-Kai cocktail review: Jet Pilot soars over its ancestors with flying colors
This latest and greatest version of The Mai-Kai's Jet Pilot should be approached with caution. It's big, bold and bad to the bone.
See the full story
RECIPE: Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Jet Pilot, version 5.0
The Atomic Grog serves the Jet Pilot on Tiki Trail Live
More on The Mai-Kai's takeout menu
Mai-Kai cocktail review: Trade in Vic's Mai Tai for this classic
We've updated our tribute recipe for this popular drink after a careful analysis of The Mai-Kai's take-home cocktails.
See the full story
RECIPE: Tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Mai Tai, version 2.0
Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
Hurricane Hayward reviews and rates the historic restaurant's current and past tropical drinks, plus reveals a treasure trove of ancestor and exclusive tribute recipes.
>>> A DEEP DIVE INTO THE COCKTAILS OF THE MAI-KAI
>>> List of all 100+ recipes
Atomic Grog Cocktail Recipes, A through Z
A comprehensive list of every recipe we've posted on the site since 2011.
>>> COMPLETE LIST OF DRINKS
The Atomic Grog joins The Trader Brandon Transmissions
VIDEO, RECIPE: Watch the live interview, see the new Barrel O' Rum recipe
* Check out our Tiki Tuesday chat with Brandon Kleyla on his Instagram page
* Go to TraderBrandon.com and browse all his cool merch
Hurricane Hayward on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Listen to the "Covid Chronicles" episode recorded live with Adrian Eustaquio as The Atomic Grog blogger made his way to The Mai-Kai to pick up Gallons to Go.
Also available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.
The Atomic Grog blog has a new look
Check out the latest version of our blog, featuring a clean new design and all the same great features.
>>> GO TO THE BLOG NOW What is The Atomic Grog?
RECENT & RELEVANT BLOGS
The Mai-Kai re-releases signature rum, plus new glassware and spirits menu
Check out our tasting notes on The Real McCoy 12-year-old Distillers Proof Mai-Kai Blend, plus cocktail recipes, the new rum menu and the updated cocktail menu.
>>> Bonus recipes: The Real McCoy Shark Bite and Special Reserve Daiquiri
Cocktail quarts join gallons as The Mai-Kai expands takeout menu
The historic Polynesian restaurant continues to adapt and adjust to meet guest demand, expanding the curbside pickup menu to include 32-ounce jars of five different classic tropical cocktails.
The Hukilau 2020: Virtual events honor 19th annual Tiki weekender, help those in need
Pay homage to the canceled Tiki weekender with educational symposiums, more special videos at The Mai-Kai, more.
>>> See video replays, all of the activities
Skinny Jimmy's Picks: 5 underappreciated surf bands of the first wave
The first wave of instrumental surf (late '50s through mid-'60s) included many bands that remained under the radar and lack the notoriety they deserve.
>>> AUDIO: See and hear Jimmy's top 5
VIDEO & PHOTOS: Skinny Jimmy Stingray talks classic surf, performs at The Mai-Kai
Skinny Jimmy Stingray and his band rocked The Molokai bar during December's Retro Rekindled community gathering. The live set followed a Q&A with The Atomic Grog about the guitarist's journey from punk to instro surf.
>>> See new video and photos from the event
Mai-Kai cocktail review: A heart-warming winter classic
Check out our updated tribute recipe for The Mai-Kai's Hot Buttered Rum, a seasonal classic with links to Tiki godfather Don the Beachcomber but also claiming roots that date back to colonial times.
Skinny Jimmy's Picks: The all-time top 5 Dick Dale songs
Dick Dale uncovered something special in Southern California's sandy beaches that, like a powerful wave, could not be contained. In this second in a series of top 5 lists, Skinny Jimmy Stingray picks his favorite Dick Dale songs.
>>> AUDIO: See and hear Jimmy's top 5
Gone but not forgotten: Surf guitar pioneer Dick Dale, 1937-2019
We knew him as the "King of the Surf Guitar," but he was so much more than that. Check out our tribute featuring South Florida remembrances and photos plus obituaries and social media reaction.
>>> Dick Dale's discography and top YouTube videos
The living dead came to party at The Mai-Kai's Hulaween 2019 luau
After 10 years, we know what to expect from The Mai-Kai's infamous Hulaween party: Kooky costumes, rockin' tunes and many cocktails consumed in The Molokai bar. The 2019 bash lived up to those standards.
>>> Full recap and photo gallery
Eerie and evil tunes for your Halloween shindig
In this first in a series of special features on instro surf music, Skinny Jimmy Stingray gives us his picks for the most sinister surf songs. "Nothing echoes quite as ghoulishly as the sound of a reverb-soaked electric guitar."
>>> AUDIO/VIDEO: See and hear Jimmy's top five
Mai-Kai cocktail review: If you're 'Passionate' about tropical drinks, this one's for you
Check out our updated review of the Piña Passion, including a new tribute recipe and history of iconic drinks served in pineapples. Learn about this symbol of hospitality and mainstay at The Mai-Kai since 1956.
What we learned at Appleton master blender Joy Spence’s rum tasting
What could be better than an Appleton rum tasting at The Mai-Kai? How about the first-ever such event at the historic Polynesian palace hosted by Joy Spence, the longtime master blender for the venerable Jamaican brand.
>>> CHECK OUT OUR FULL RECPAP AND PHOTOS
>>> Recipe: Joy Spence's favorite rum cocktail
PAST BLOGS OF INTEREST
The Atomic Grog presents new class and symposium at The Hukilau 2019
Hurricane Hayward of The Atomic Grog took guests on an virtual journey to the Caribbean to learn about the key rums and styles that have dominated The Mai-Kai’s acclaimed cocktails for more than 60 years. He was joined by rum expert Stephen Remsberg for an Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy class at Pier Sixty-Six hotel on June 8, and by Cocktail Wonk writer Matt Pietrek for an on-stage symposium at The Mai-Kai Grand Finale on June 9.
>>> HEAR THE SYMPOSIUM: Inside the Desert Oasis Room podcast
>>> Full preview plus last year's recap and photos
COMING SOON: Exclusive news on a new replacement for Kohala Bay rum at The Mai-Kai, plus more!
More on the rums of The Mai-Kai
* The history of the potent, funky flavors from Guyana and Jamaica
* Demerara rum - The Mai-Kai's secret weapon
The Hukilau 2019 rewind: Photos and video from social media
The Hukilau careened through Fort Lauderdale for its 18th annual Tiki weekender with an exhaustive schedule of events at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel, B Ocean Resort and the historic Mai-Kai restaurant.
>>> SOCIAL POSTS FROM THE ATOMIC GROG AND VILLAGERS
The Hukilau 2019: Women of Tiki take over the tower
The signature Tiki Tower Takeover cocktail party included eight of the world's top female Tiki bartenders. Between sampling all the delicious drinks, hanging out with friends and enjoying the gorgeous views from the 17th-floor Pier Top Lounge, we managed to snap a few photos.
>>> FACEBOOK PHOTO GALLERY
Tiki Tower Takeover: Preview, photos and complete history
More on The Hukilau: Last party at Pier Sixty-Six? | Final preview, updates
Mai-Kai Walking Tour on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast
It was an honor to participate in The Mai-Kai history tour with carver Will Anders and manager Kern Mattei. It’s a real Tiki museum audio walking tour.
>>> CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE PODCAST
>>> Previous Marooned podcast: Hurricane Hayward talks Mai-Kai cocktails
Related stories on The Atomic Grog
* The Mai-Kai is here to stay: 10 reasons why we love the historic restaurant
* New giant carved Tiki added to outdoor garden for 60th anniversary
* 'King Kai' leads procession of new Tikis into The Mai-Kai
* Tour of The Mai-Kai's mysterious bars and kitchen (with photos)
Mai-Kai cocktail review: Drink like a native with the deadly Shrunken Skull
Take a deep dive into the history of a deadly classic cocktail with our fully enhanced review with a brand new tribute recipe and the true ancestor recipe from Don the Beachcomber.
>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY
New cocktail books, magazine prove Tiki underground is alive and thriving
Is the printed word is dead? The appearance of several new cocktail and recipes books, along with a quarterly magazine devoted to the revival of Polynesian Pop and mid-century culture, would indicate otherwise.
PAST NEWS & EVENT COVERAGE
Photos: 10 highlights from The Hukilau 2019 in Fort Lauderdale
Take a look back at last year's festivities with dozens of photos and 10 memorable moments.
>>> SEE THE PHOTO RECAP
Bonus cocktail recipes: Passion Fruit West Indies (Pagan Idol) | Playboy (Tiki Underground)
The Year in Tiki 2019: A look back at all the top events
Check out photos and video plus links and coverage of top happenings around the globe, including Miami Rum Congress, Inuhele in Atlanta, Arizona Tiki Oasis, Tiki Caliente in Palm Springs, Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, Tiki Kon in Portland, the Surf Guitar 101 Convention in California, Tiki Oasis in San Diego, the Hi-Tide Summer Holiday: Asbury Park, plus more!
>>> BROWSE ALL THE PAST EVENTS
Sippin' Santa comes to town: Beachbum Berry interview, plus recipes
We caught up with Tiki historian, author and bar owner Jeff "Beachbum" Berry to ask him about his growing family of Sippin' Santa surf shacks, the delicious drinks, and what makes holiday pop-up bars so popular.
Bonus recipes: Tribute to Christmas Eve of Destruction | Nutty Old Fashioned
Previous story: Another holiday Miracle: Sippin' Santa locations double
Surprise winner, new spirit of aloha at fifth annual Art of Tiki in South Beach
Find out how an unassuming chef beat out Miami's top mixologists in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's tropical bartending competition.
>>> Full event coverage, cocktail reviews, exclusive photos and history
VIPs, connoisseurs of fine spirits flock to first Miami Rum Congress
The inaugural Miami Rum Congress was an unqualified success, a star-studded gathering of rum industry experts that sold out the cozy and picturesque Shane Center in Miami Beach.
>>> Photo gallery and event recap
Special event: 'Demerara Rum - The Mai-Kai's Secret Weapon'
The Atomic Grog was pleased to present a special happy-hour talk during The Mai-Kai Takeover event, presented by the Magical Tiki Meet-Up and Retro Rekindled.
>>> Full event recap and photos
* See also: Rums of The Mai-Kai include potent, funky flavors
Epcot's Native American exhibit includes Hawaiian, Polynesian artifacts
The Hawaii and California display spotlights one of seven geographic regions of art, both historical and modern, in the American Heritage Gallery.
The Year in Tiki 2018: Recap all the top events with photos and video
What did you attend in 2018? Take a look back at the top happenings in the Tiki, rum and surf music worlds.
Florida bartender wins Chairman's Reserve Mai Tai Challenge
Gregory Schutt pulled off an upset victory in the regional finals to earn a trip to the global finals in St. Lucia.
Hulaween turns 10 with another ghoulish gathering
The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale was overrun by a lively crowd of undead revelers who returned from the grave for a 10th time in search of a rockin' good time with Slip and the Spinouts.
The Atomic Grog on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast
Listen to Hurricane Hayward and podcaster David Phantomatic as they discuss (what else) the historic tropical drinks and influence of The Mai-Kai.
* Check out the new tribute recipes for a Mai-Kai classic, the Mutiny
Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy: How to Mix Like The Mai-Kai
Tips and techniques from The Atomic Grog's Hurricane Hayward for turning your home bar into a Tiki paradise.
>>> Check out highlights from the sold-out class at The Hukilau 2018
The Hukilau 2018 recap: Photos and video from social media
Check out a compilation of images from the whirlwind Tiki weekend in Fort Lauderdale.
The Mai-Kai updates bar menu, adds classic ‘lost’ cocktail
A new cocktail menu made its debut in May 2018 in The Molokai bar at The Mai-Kai, marking first update to the classic tropical drink lineup since 2014.
The Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
New monorail fleet in the works? Disney World denies rumors
Disney World may soon be getting replacements for its aging fleet of monorails, says the retired imagineer who designed the original iconic trains. But officially, theme park officials say there presently are no such plans.
TAKE 5: INTERVIEWS WITH MOVERS & SHAKERS
August 2014: Otto von Stroheim, pioneering event promoter and Tiki tastemaker
April 2014: Ian Burrell, global rum ambassador and organizer of the UK RumFest
September 2013: Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco and rum cocktail maestro
June 2013: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Tiki cocktail author and historian extraordinaire
June 2012: Rodney Mayo, guiding light of South Florida’s indie entertainment scene
November 2011: Mai-Kai General Manager Kern Mattei
September 2011: Artist Mike “Pooch” Pucciarelli
FROM THE ARCHIVES: OUR FAVORITE BLOGS
Exotic cocktails at Altered State Tattoo’s 20th anniversary party
We were pleased to serve up drinks for special guests of artist Mike "Pooch" Pucciarelli at the 20th anniversary party for his South Florida shop that has gained him a worldwide following for his highly creative ink.
>>> Get the recipes: Altered State Zombie | Mai Ta-IPA
‘Boozy’ blog hosts birthday bash
The Atomic Grog celebrated its fifth anniversary with a cocktail party in The Molokai lounge at The Mai-Kai featuring live instrumental surf music from Skinny Jimmy Stingray, drink specials, giveaways, and more.
10 reasons why you need Sven Kirsten’s Tiki Pop
The third hardcover opus from the acclaimed Tiki urban archaeologist explores in rich and colorful detail the uniquely American phenomenon that permeated fashion, music, eating, drinking, and architecture for decades.
Jeff Berry proves he’s never too busy to be a 'Beachbum'
Author and cocktail historian Beachbum Berry solidified his standing as the "Indiana Jones" of Tiki mixology with his first branded product, unearthing a long-lost gadget from the catacombs of mid-century bar culture: Beachbum Berry's Navy Grog Ice Cone Kit.
A journey back in time uncovers 'Disney side'
My first visit to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando was in 1972, but it wasn't until decades later that events conspired to make me a Disney World fan for life.
>>> Related: Celebrating 30 years of Epcot magic
Potions of the Caribbean: Cruise back to the birthplace of Tiki drinks
Beachbum Berry’s sixth book on tropical drinks and the fascinating stories behind them could be considered the sequel to Sippin’ Safari, both in style and substance.
Need a punch recipe for 200? The Rum Rat Pack has it covered
The experts at The Hukilau's 'Rumposium' showed us how to fill a bowl with 630 ounces of deliciousness (including 240 ounces of rum) with style and flair.
Florida at forefront of surf rock's contemporary renaissance
Just as Florida surfers have played second fiddle to California, so have the Sunshine State's surf bands.
But it's surely not due to lack of talent or effort.
>>> Related: Book makes waves, gives state's rich surfing history its due
>>> Album review: Los Straitjackets soar again with the release of Jet Set
Enchanted Tiki Room still charms, inspires
Keeping Walt Disney's vision alive since 1971, this landmark attraction received a welcome refurbishment in 2011 that heralded the return of the vintage show that pays tribute to the Disneyland original.
>>> Related: Enchanted Tiki Room 50th anniversary merchandise
Artists shine at Magic Kingdom's 40th birthday party
For many of us, celebrating Disney World means celebrating all the great artists and imagineers without whom none of the magic would be possible.
>>> An appreciation: Disney World is still cool at 40 thanks to retro artists Shag, Kevin & Jody
>>> Related: Cocktails come of age at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Stretching the limits of the imagination
The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg is a surreal experience in its own right.
We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai
The kickoff party for the 2011 Rum Renaissance Festival was a Tikiphile's dream, featuring a Jeff "Beachbum" Berry cocktail seminar followed by a deadly mixology competition.
Click here for our first-person recap
>>> MORE: Zombie Jam photo gallery | Event preview | Rum Renaissance recap
>>> ORIGINAL RECIPE: Wake the dead, it’s time for the Atomic Zombie Cocktail
>>> Zombie alert: 5 crucial things you need to know about the deadly cocktail
>>> Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide: The theory of evolution of the Zombie
MORE ON RUM & COCKTAILS
* Navy Rum and Black Tot Day: When men were men, and sailors drank Daiquiris
* Spice up your tequila cocktails with fiery gourmet syrups
* Miami mixologist shows how to jazz up your tired old cocktails
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